I live in a old stone mid terrace house, with damp in all 4 downstairs ways, despite the fact that 2 are shared. My partner’s father, who is a builder, says we can attach normal plasterboards directly to the walls. I don’t think this is enough for the permeability of the walls especially with a concrete floor. Who is right?

  • AB Architectural Design Ltd

    If you did fix plasterboard to the walls directly with what I guess would be a dot and dab then any water in the stonework will just track onto the plaster dabs on the back of the plasterboard and eventually you will end up with the water coming through the back of the plasterboard.
    If you do have water coming through the wall you will need to tank them either with a tanking slurrey (To stop the water coming though the wall) or a tanking membrane system (So that any water that does make it through will run down behind the membrane) and then you can render and plaster over the walls.
    However if the water is just coming up the walls then I would suggest installing an injected damp proof course and then you should be able to just install plasterboard onto the walls.

    The key is to stop the damp first before continuing with plasterboard etc. I would suggest that you get a damp specialist in to check where the damp is coming from so you can get this sorted out first.

  • Tim Pullen

    I have to disagree. Injecting a damp proof course in a stone wall will make the problem worse. But he is right that putting plasterboard directly on the wall will be a mistake. Even foil-backed plasterboard will very quickly get wet.

    My experience is that there are two ways of drying a wet stone wall:

    1. Find out where the water is getting in and fix that.
    2. Build a stud wall, inside and at least 500m off the stone wall and plasterboard that.

  • Neil Hester

    Tim, would you di anything to protect the back of the stud wall from the moisture of the stone wall, would there no be a smell of damp after some time?
    Why would you not seal the wall with some kind of sealant paint?

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